At Pendennis Port Marina, Falmouth, a proud vessel is tied to the docks awaiting its next adventure – ‘Spirit of Falmouth’ is a young ship living a hard life out at sea.
The ship belongs to the charity ‘Turn To Starboard’, who helps veterans around the world cope with returning to their lives back home, often with PTSD and other effects of returning from a conflict.
Aboard, we met Andy Hothersall from Hayle, a local veteran and currently in his second year of volunteering as a mechanic on the boat. He told a tale of a young lad when he first went into the army, eventually going on to work in the Royal Corps of Transport:
“It was raining when I skiving off school in Redruth and I went into the army office and took the test, passed. I’ve served in the Falkland Islands, I’ve served over in America, Ireland – all over the world. I always had a passion for adventure training.”
“We use the boat to sail veterans that have been injured in battle, guys that have bad dreams or maybe have lost an arm or leg. Basically, we support any veteran around the world who served.”
Often when Armed Forces personnel return from hostile conditions, they may find it difficult to speak and share with their loved ones about what they experienced – at this ship however, it may be easier due to being in a group with people who are in a similar position.
In addition to taking veterans out to sea it also caters to the families of the affected, ‘tall ship’ sailing, RYA courses and a vast option of different ways to volunteer.
Interested in more? Check out their website here.